These are chiefly ‘State Papers’ in the narrow sense of records of the English Secretary of State, but include other English government documents from the Public Record Office and the British Museum. Vol I covers December 1587 to July 1588.
On 19 May 1588 the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon. 130 ships and carried 2,500 guns and 30,000 men. The fleet was not sighted off the Lizard until 29 July 1588 as the Armada was forced by poor weather and a lack of supplies into Corunna. This book, the very first published by the Navy Records Society, in 1894, covers the period from December 1587 to July 1588. It is in many ways a historical document in its own right, as our understanding of the Armada has changed dramatically since 1894 when JK Laughton wrote the introduction. Nonetheless, the papers that are published here are essential reading for anyone interested in the build up to the Armada campaign. They are drawn from the State Papers – they are letters and memoranda written by or to the officers of the fleet and the high officers of State. A large proportion of the letters are written by Howard or Seymour to Lord Burghley, the Lord High Treasurer, or to Sir Francis Walsyngham, the Principal Secretary of State. Many, too, are written by Drake and by Hawkyns; others by men not so well known, but all of unquestionable authenticity.
Introduction, DEFEAT OF THE SPANISH ARMADA, A RELATION OF PROCEEDINGS. STATE PAPERS. Listed by Dates and Titles.